Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Pope Francis has appointed the apostolic Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Luigi Bianco, to officiate the beatification of Fr. Dr. Giuseppe Joseph Ambrosoli.
Fr. Ambrosoli, a former member of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus who served as a doctor, surgeon, and philanthropist will be beatified on Sunday in Kalongo town council, Agago district.
Gulu Archdiocese Archbishop Dr. John Baptist Odama, announced on Tuesday that the ceremony will be conducted by a delegation appointed by Pope Francis led by Archbishop Bianco.
“The pope has already appointed his delegate to represent him. It’s the Papal Nuncio to Uganda, he will be now the chief guest to officiate this function,” Archbishop Odama told journalists Tuesday evening at a press briefing in Gulu city.
Archbishop Odama noted that the beatification ceremony is a testimony of the true legacy left by Fr. Ambrosli whose more than 30 years of life in Northern Uganda were marked by compassion and love for the local people served.
Fr. Ambrosoli was posted at Kalongo Catholic Parish on February 19, 1956 as a Parish priest and also ran a dispensary which he later transformed into the now famous Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital Kalongo during his more than 30 years mission in the region.
The beatification event, the first of its kind in the history of the Catholic Church in the country is expected to attract thousands of people from within and outside the country.
According to Archbishop Odama, the Health Ministry has given a green light for the event but noted that as organizers, they have been tasked to observe the standard operating procedures in the wake of the Ebola outbreak.
He says whereas the medics are battling to contain the outbreak of the highly contagious viral disease, Ugandans should pray to God through Dr. Ambrosoli as an intercessor to intervene in stopping the outbreak.
At least 55 people have since succumbed to the Ebola virus disease since the outbreak was first announced by the Health Ministry in Mubende district in September this year.
Dr. Ambrosoli died on March 27, 1987 in Ngetta, the current Lira Diocese following a kidney complication.
The beatification process for the late prelate commenced under Pope John Paul II on July 17, 1999 after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued no objections to the cause and titled Ambrosoli a Servant of God.
Pope Francis confirmed a miracle attributed to Fr. Ambrosoli following the miraculous healing of a woman who had developed sepsis at Matany Hospital after she developed a miscarriage 18 years after his death.
In July this year, the relics of Fr. Ambrosoli were brought back to Kalongo Catholic Parish from Rome in Italy by Rev. Fr. Cosmo Isaaco in preparation for the beatification.
The beatification ceremony of Fr. Dr. Ambrosoli comes 20 years after Blessed Jildo Irwa and Daudi Okello, the two Martyrs of Paimol, also from Agago were beatified in 2002 by the late Pope John Paul II.